putting the "edge" in cottage

Had been hoping to have a chance to design a cottage or small vintage home — and I recently got the opportunity when Courtney invited me to re-imagine three rooms in her lovely home. Her cottage has great character; she and her husband have done a beautiful job of updating it, as well as maintaining the home’s architectural integrity. They called me because they wanted a little modern edge on the sweetness.

So we painted the fireplace’s red brick surround a fresh white to match the moldings and brought in transitional pieces of furniture that speak fluent cottage with a modern accent. Pieces like a fab chair in a bright red vine print wake up the room, while accompanying white, blue and black accents rachet up the edge factor just enough. Modern lighting all from — you guessed it, IKEA — takes the room where it needs to go.

An IKEA Billy bookcase relocated from the guest room provides dish storage and a home for a quirky collection of thrift store items, including a vintage palm reader’s hand. A navy slip-covered sectional in the living room benefits from a dark gray herringbone pattern rug, white Lack tables from IKEA, and soft red, blue and white pillows from various sources. A tableau straight outta Nantucket rules the mantel, with pops of fresh blue and red echoing the color scheme. Items are sourced from various places, including thrift shops and Target.

Bold, graphic white, black and red art plays off the trad chandelier in the dining area, while grass green pillows freshen it up. Add a couple of white IKEA Norvald chairs and it all comes together.

After edging up the main house, we moved to what Courtney called the man cave, with a directive to bring it up to speed as a multi-use family and entertaining space. Bright orange Ritva curtains from IKEA and matching pillows bring life to the room. Floating the sofa in the room’s center with the re-purposed living room coffee table, a small leather chair and two upholstered ottomans give the family seating for five — upping the entertainment quotient, and giving Courtney ample opportunity to nap, read or relax — and that all-important inroad into man cave territory. Full photo gallery above.